Business Strategy Comparison: Zara and HandM

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GROUP MEMBER NAME-Saloni Khandelwal, Deepankar Kothari, Rohit Modi, Namita S Rai TOPIC-WOMEN GARMENTS


History of Zara
Marked as the first prestigious venture of the Inditex group the first store of Zara, the chain of Spanish fashion stores came into reality on central A Coruna Street in 1975. In 1985, Amancio Ortega integrated Zara in a new holding company, Industria de Diseno Textil, INDITEX S.A. The Zara fashion concept was well received by the public later in 1976, allowing it to expand its network of stores to the other main Spanish cities. During 1981-1988 with the growing popularity Zara started new ventures by multiplying in number not just in Spain but around the world. In 2003 enjoying being the eye candy among the fashion followers Zara entered the home furnishing market by opening the first Zara home store. Everything else is a history; today Zara is present in 73 countries, with a network of more than 1,540 stores, ideally located in major cities. Its international presence clearly shows that national frontiers are no impediment to sharing a single fashion culture.

Product Design

Zara’s unique approach to product development is instrumental to their success. Zara gives store managers significant autonomy in both determining the products to display in their stores and which to place on sale, and relaying market research and store trends back to their headquarters in La Coruña. At headquarters there are teams of commercials who take this information into account to design and effectively plan and produce all of Zara’s products. Zara maintains a design team of 200 people, all of which produce approximately 12,000 new styles per year for Zara. The process of obtaining market information and relaying it to design and production teams expedites product development by shortening the throughput time of a product to 3-4 weeks from design to distribution. This process is very different from its competitors. Many competitors rely on a small elite design team that plans both design and production needs well in advance. Stores have little autonomy in deciding which products to display or put on sale because Headquarters plans accordingly and ships quantities as forecasted. Zara’s speed to market in product development exceeds the capabilities of its competitors. This in itself provides additional value to stakeholders, customers, and stores in producing quality clothing at affordable prices .Zara’s product development capabilities are essential to Zara’s business strategy and future success.

Advertising and Marketing

Zara’s unique approach to advertising and marketing is an additional factor within their business model that adds to their success. Zara spends 0.3% of total revenues on advertising and marketing. This is significantly less than their competitors who on average spend 3-4% of their total revenues on similar expenditures. Hence, Zara maintains a cost advantage to their competitors in marketing activities. In order to effectively complete with their peers Zara uses location, store layout, and product life cycles to act as their marketing tool to consumers. For instance, Zara strategically locates all of their stores in prime retail districts for visibility marketing. Additionally, because of the product development cycles mentioned earlier, customers are trained to visit Zara stores often because new items are presented weekly and are often not restocked. This feeling of scarcity encourages customers to come to the stores and buy frequently. Lastly, in order to keep the stores looking fresh and trendy; Zara invests heavily in their store layouts. They have a testing facility nearby their headquarters in Spain where different types of store layouts are tested. Each Zara store is remodeled every 5...
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